In October of 1998, the Gunpowder Conference Planning Committee conducted a mail survey among Gunpowder stakeholders to identify the Gunpowder Watershed issues that are most important to these organizations. The survey was sent to 150 area organizations such as community councils, environmental groups, recreational interests, and economic development organizations that have a stake in the future of the Watershed. The following results are based on 27 responses received from these "stakeholders." The response rate was 18% and the results were used as directional information only for the conference. Twenty-two additional responses have been received as of March 19, 1999, with more being submitted through the web-site (www.mde.state.md.us/gw/), they will be factored into a final report.
Gunpowder Watershed Survey Initial Results
Q. Most Enjoyable Aspects of living in the Watershed?
A. Overwhelmingly, stakeholders said they most enjoyed the "natural" aspects of the watershed, including wildlife, rural setting, beauty, and its contrast to development. Recreational aspects, such as the hike & bike trail, boating, fishing, and the park were the second most mentioned aspect.
Q. Most Significant Threats to the environmental integrity of the watershed?
A. Stakeholders felt the biggest threats to the environmental integrity of the watershed were pollution and development related issues. Also of concern were septic system issues, erosion, and government policies/zoning issues. They indicated a desire to have the following information offered at the conference, in order of preference beginning with the left column:
environmental ed. programs
A. With regard to maintaining an awareness of the Gunpowder Watershed and related issues, a majority of the stakeholders who responded to the survey indicated they would like their organization to be included on the Gunpowder web site. Though the majority (at the time of the survey) did not have a web site nor had plans to develop one, those who had a site or were creating one ( primarily government organizations) expressed an interest in being linked to the Gunpowder web site.
Q. Level of interest in Gunpowder Watershed Conference?
A. Encouragingly, the majority of responding stakeholders indicated their organization would be interested in sending a representative to the conference. Others indicated it would depend on details (date & time). Further, more than one-third noted an interest in assisting with the planning, presenting or implementing of the conference. Another several were unsure if they had the time to help.
As previously mentioned, many surveys were submitted as the conference approached, most were not included in the analysis above. A post-conference analysis of survey results will follow at a later date.